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  1. #1
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    Default NF idealism - patronizing, arrogant, hypocritical, naiive?

    I started a thread on another forum about several subjects. One of the questions was: "Is it justified to perceive [NF] idealism negatively as an arrogant, patronizing, hypocritical and naiive attitude, as some people do?"

    No one on the other forum answered that question but it just keeps bothering me, so I decided to start a thread about it here.

    Like. If I see someone being picked on, I want to help the poor thing and reprimand the bully. Some people (ie the bullies and possibly some NTs) claim that it's arrogant and patronizing to treat another person as a "poor thing", that it's hypocritical to reprimand others, and that it's naiive to even think of the possibility that my little input could "make things better" in any way.

    I want to understand this "patronizing, arrogant, hypocritical, naiive" viewpoint and develop my idealism so that I can use it in a truly positive way. I really don't want to hurt anyone in the process of acting on my idealism, but I don't want to give up on it, either. Are these accusations mere intentionally discouraging backbiting, or are they actually justified?

    Oh and to anyone who's been thinking about the same questions I recommend the films Manderlay and Dogville, whose heroine is an idealist accused of the very same flaws that I mentioned in the topic. They're a pair of quite philosophical films. If someone has seen either of them, they can be referred to in this thread.
    Manderlay (2005)
    Dogville (2003)

    All viewpoints are encouraged by me in this thread.

  2. #2
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaveri View Post
    Like. If I see someone being picked on, I want to help the poor thing and reprimand the bully. Some people (ie the bullies and possibly some NTs) claim that it's arrogant and patronizing to treat another person as a "poor thing", that it's hypocritical to reprimand others, and that it's naiive to even think of the possibility that my little input could "make things better" in any way.
    Assuming that you're not leaving any information out, then I am not one of those NTs. I too generally want to protect a victim and reprimand bad behavior (though I am more run by cost-benefit analysis than I am caught up in empathy and outrage), so I sympathize with your instinct to do the same.

    However, are you sure that you're loyally representing the other side of the disputes you have previously had? For NTs to pull out the stops and describe your attitude with terms like arrogant, patronizing, hypocritical and naive, I'd like to think that there must have been something more to it than you wanting to protect and avenge a bullying victim. If that really was it, then you can be sure that those NTs were channeling negative energy at you from elsewhere.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaveri View Post
    I want to understand this "patronizing, arrogant, hypocritical, naiive" viewpoint and develop my idealism so that I can use it in a truly positive way. I really don't want to hurt anyone in the process of acting on my idealism, but I don't want to give up on it, either. Are these accusations mere intentionally discouraging backbiting, or are they actually justified?
    I'm not sure I've met people who use those words regarding idealism (except 'naiive', but usually just 'naive'). So I don't really undestand the premise behind your question, and therefore find it difficult to answer.

    • What I find naive are opinions held by people that seem ignorant. They are opinions untennable for anyone having lived a life with diverse experiences.
      This includes things like...
      • Believing the way your family/town/city does things is the only correct way.
      • Believing at a young age that you've "figured out life", while a lot of others older than you are actually foolish.
      • Thinking you can and should solve every problem you face.
      • Stereotypical assumptions about specific people, no matter how 'justified' the prejudice is.
      • Unhealthy National pride. The type that believes all other nations are subservient to one.
      • Believeing you "see the whole elephant."
    • What I find hypocritical are beliefs claimed by people that they aren't actually believed by them. Having an ideal, and not living up to it is not hypocritial in my eyes. However, the two cases can be hard to distinguish.
      Consider...
      • Sexual "immorality" as defined by many religions. Is it repression of their true beliefs, or is it simply a difficult "ideal" to meet?
      • The ideal of not being 'greedy' or 'selfish'. I think some amout is a good thing. We live in a compettive world weather we like it or not. So are people who down-play greed in capatilism hypocrits, or are they simply unabel to live up to their ideals? It is hard to tell from an outside observer.
    • What I find arogant are ideals claimed by people simply to make themselves look/feel good when compared to others. A belief that people should be more like the ideal holder, made so that when others fall short, the ideal holder can feel better by comparisson. Again, it is hard to say if someone holds an ideal for this reason, or if they get closer to meeting it than others because they hold the ideal.
      Here are some of mine that could be considered arrogant...
      • People should try to learn about the systems they will be working with on a regular basis. (Computers, cars, businesses, tech. devices, etc.)
      • People should cultivate their intellect and be a life-long learner.
    • What I find patronizing is people acting like they are listening and understanding when they aren't. I am not sure how it applies to idealism. I suppose people could pretend to agree with your ideals whe they don't. Maybe I am gullible, but this is the hardest one to distiguish. How do you know if people actually believe the same things you do, or are patronizing you?
      Here are somethings I did that may be considered patronizing...
      • Attended several years of Bible Study with an what I called an "open mind". I am still culturally a Hindu and spiritually an agnostic(colored strongly be Hinduism).
      • Attending political group functions with an "open mind" and not joining.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
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  4. #4
    Wait, what? Varelse's Avatar
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    What I find naive-when good intentions are used to justify poor actions. IMHO, the actions are still there, still what they are.

    Arrogant: presuming that one is automatically better at determing what the other person wants or needs than that person is. When this belief is acted upon, it becomes patronizing. NTs can be quite arrogant, but that seems to be more of an intellectual than an inter-personal arrogance.

    Hypocritical is telling someone something untrue, in order to preserve a relationship. (And then exploding at the person you lied to over your own hypocrisy.)

    As far as the bully situation, I wouldn't find your behavior inappropriate unless the victim asked that you stay out of it.
    We are not poets
    We have no right to make amendments

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    Sorry, in my mother-tongue the word that means "naive" is spelled "naiivi", so that must have messed me up.

    Ah, it is very possible that I have forgotten the exact wordings of the accusations and exaggerated them a bit. Besides, the accusations have been expressed in another language.

    When I interacted on this forum (years ago) whose atmosphere was quite immature (because of young persons), many people there thought that there was something horribly wrong about my appalled reaction to their behaviour, which I perceived as online bullying. Some NTs (I think if i remember correctly) there used to choose a victim who was younger and dumber than them, possibly an S or an F, and start driving the victim angry, and so on. So in in the end it nearly seemed "justified" from some point of view to disdain the victim because (s)he *was* behaving badly, but that was in fact due to systematic provocation.

    This is what I wrote on the other message board: "It really makes me feel bad inside when I see someone being picked on. Even if they seem irritating for some reason, they don't deserve negative feedback, because that just makes them defensive and thus more irritating. It's very probable that people who come off as irritating are that way because of negative past experiences and they just need to be sort of 'cured' by giving them positive feedback."

    I can perhaps understand why someone may think it's naive or something to believe that people can be cured by treating them well, but that's what I believe.
    Last edited by Kaveri; 09-09-2007 at 03:14 PM.

  6. #6
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaveri View Post
    When I interacted on this forum (years ago) whose atmosphere was very immature, many people there thought that there was something horribly wrong about my appalled reaction to their online bullying. Some NTs there used to choose a victim who was younger and dumber than them, possibly an S or an F, and start driving the victim angry, and so on.
    Ah, well, that explains it. I thought some bullies and some NTs had ridiculed you, not bullying NTs. I'd chalk that dispute up to bully defensiveness if I were you and face the next NTs you meet free of prejudice so as to forestall any unnecessary NF/NT clashing.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaveri View Post

    I can perhaps understand why someone may think it's naive or something to believe that people can be cured by treating them well, but that's what I believe.

    I think it depends on the person. True psychopaths cannot be cured by good treatment, some psychopaths are smart and learn to be socialized psychopaths and stay within the law, but they still will have no empathy for others:


    Psychopaths Among Us, by Robert Hercz

    "I said, 'Here's a scene that you can use,' " Hare says. " 'You're walking down a street and there's an accident. A car has hit a child in the crosswalk. A crowd of people gather round. You walk up, the child's lying on the ground and there's blood running all over the place. You get a little blood on your shoes and you look down and say, "Oh shit." You look over at the child, kind of interested, but you're not repelled or horrified. You're just interested. Then you look at the mother, and you're really fascinated by the mother, who's emoting, crying out, doing all these different things. After a few minutes you turn away and go back to your house. You go into the bathroom and practice mimicking the facial expressions of the mother.' " He then pauses and says, "That's the psychopath: somebody who doesn't understand what's going on emotionally, but understands that something important has happened."

    Hare's research upset a lot of people. Until the psychopath came into focus, it was possible to believe that bad people were just good people with bad parents or childhood trauma and that, with care, you could talk them back into being good. Hare's research suggested that some people behaved badly even when there had been no early trauma. Moreover, since psychopaths' brains were in fundamental ways different from ours, talking them into being like us might not be easy. Indeed, to this day, no one has found a way to do so.

    As far as the more general question here, the older I get the more I become aware that the world in general will not change until enough individuals living in it decide to change within themselves.

    As long as people abdicate their own personal responsiblity to think and decide for themselves, they will leave open the possibility for others with less than benign motives (usually a socialized pyschopath) to come in and maniplulate them into acting other than in their best interests.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Economica View Post
    For NTs to pull out the stops and describe your attitude with terms like arrogant, patronizing, hypocritical and naive, I'd like to think that there must have been something more to it than you wanting to protect and avenge a bullying victim. If that really was it, then you can be sure that those NTs were channeling negative energy at you from elsewhere.
    No, this isn't actually all that unusual. xTxP (FFM argument goes here) are heavily likely to embrace passive behaviour in bullying situations; neither help nor hinder. The reaction is simply justification for that stance (which is inherently amoral).

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    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    No, this isn't actually all that unusual. xTxP (FFM argument goes here) are heavily likely to embrace passive behaviour in bullying situations; neither help nor hinder. The reaction is simply justification for that stance (which is inherently amoral).
    By help, do you mean participate in the bullying? Because Kaveri has already revealed that the NTs in question did in fact do so.

    Not that I can't see NTs (especially NTPs) and an INFP quickly and mutually derail even an impersonal discussion about bullying.

  10. #10
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    It is ever possible to have an "impersonal" discussion about bullying? However what was described from the message board is really I think called "mobbing" because it is affected by the group hysteria.

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